Russian energy giant Gazprom plans to propose Saipem contract for laying a gas pipeline under the Baltic Sea in an attempt to settle the dispute for 760 million EUR and strengthen ties with Italy. The negotiations between Gazprom and Saipem will be held on the economic forum in St Peterburgs in June 16-18, but memorandum of understanding might be signed even before. The estimated worth of the project for North Stream 2 is 10 billion USD and Russian gas company might contract Saipem for subsea work in pipe laying. With this contract, the management of Gazprom and government of Russia also will want to settle the dispute with the Italian company for delay of South Stream project.
In December 2015, Saipem complaint against the Russian energy giant for the canceled deal for laying the pipeline in the Black Sea. The project, which initial idea was to supply gas to Central and Eastern Europe, including Italy, was postponed because of opposition of European Union and then the tension with Turkey.
The Russian government has asked Italy to send a high level delegation to the economic conference St Peterburgs, which is the largest annual business event in Russia and will be attended by the President Vladimir Putin.
Moreover, Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi seeks to improve relations between the European Union (EU) and Russia. After consolidating its ties with Germany and Austria through several energy ties, including agreement on gas connection North Stream 2, Russia now seeks to promote cooperation with Italy.
The CEO of Gazprom, Alexei Miller, said this month that the company may sign a new agreement with Eni, the company with the largest share in Saipem, on the meeting in June without going into details.